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Brodeur worried how lockout will affect New Jersey fanbase

Oct 29, 2012, 1:29 PM EDT

Martin Brodeur Getty Images

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur knows the importance of casual hockey fans to markets like New Jersey, and he’s worried that the lockout will drive that demographic away.

“We brought a lot of attention to our sport and to our league in this area (during last year’s playoffs),” Brodeur told ESPN.com Monday. “But slowly you just see how people start asking me less about hockey around here. You have to worry about that a little bit. I know in Canada that’s not the case, but in smaller markets, you have to be concerned. I’m not talking about the hard-core hockey fans, but the general sports fans, those on the bubble who come to some hockey games. Those are the fans that help us fill things out on a Tuesday night. That’s who we might lose.”

The Devils finished 24th in NHL attendance in 2011-12, averaging a modest 15,396 per game at the Prudential Center.

The team’s run to the Stanley Cup finals – its first foray past the second round since 2003 – should’ve meant more fans in the seats this season, but according to Brodeur, the lockout will cause many fans to abandon hockey for other forms of entertainment.

In a sadly ironic twist, both the NHL and NHLPA are trying to help small markets; they just have different ideas on how to do it. The league wants to cut the share of revenue going towards the players; the players want more revenue sharing between rich and poor franchises.

Meanwhile, the lockout is only hurting that shared goal.

  1. ndrick731 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Marty should look in the stands at those casual fans that are there occasionally there. They are wearing flyers and rangers jerseys.

    • rodeoclowndc - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Which is sad, because those fans wearing Flyers and Rangers jerseys were sent home disappointed during the playoffs…

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

        Easy haha. I’m still in recovery mode.

  2. capsrockva - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    please just get the dam deal done seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just think of the fans

  3. jimw81 - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    i would like to know what fan base in jersey is marty talking about? devils ever sell out during the regular season. everytime i see a devils fames on center ice i see pretty empty red seats an everytime they play the flyers or rangers its their fan base in those seats, not a devils fan. Devils fans that showed up during the finals were probably aq)disgruntled rangers fans or b) tickets that given away.

  4. fortwaynekomets - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    their fanbase will be fine.

    but say goodnight to the sun belt states.

  5. broadstreetbeatdown - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    This is a struggling franchise, which is too bad because they have consistantly put a good team on the ice. I work about five minutes from The Rock and its a shame to see the number of empty seats during the regular season. As stated previously the only time you see it semi full is when the Rangers and Flyers are in town. Then of course Marty needs look no further than his boss who is one of the group of 8 owners holding the league hostage.

  6. finfan88shark - Oct 30, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Maybe Marty should discuss this with Donald Fehr. But then again Fehr’s does nt give a crap about hockey or the players so what would be the point.

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